Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tools for a Successful Solar Electric Installers

Below are several lists that describe many of the tools needed for an installation. They are broken out into functional groups for site assessment, installation and maintenance. Most of the specialized tools fall into the site assessment and maintenance categories; the installation tools are probably already in your tool box!

Site Assessment Tools

  1. 50-100 ft. tape measure
  2. Solar Pathfinder (evaluates the solar energy potential at a site)
  3. Compass (not needed if you’re using a Solar Pathfinder)
  4. Maps (reference for location latitude and magnetic declination)
  5. Digital camera


Basic Tools Needed for Installation

  1. Angle finder
  2. Torpedo level
  3. Cordless drill (14.4V or greater), multiple batteries
  4. Unibit and multiple drill bits (wood, metal, masonry)
  5. Hole saw
  6. Hole punch
  7. Torque wrench with deep sockets
  8. Nut drivers (most common PV sizes are 7/16”, ½”, 9/16”)
  9. Wire strippers
  10. Crimpers
  11. Needle-nose pliers
  12. Lineman's pliers
  13. Slip-joint pliers
  14. Small cable cutters
  15. Large cable cutters
  16. AC/DC multimeter
  17. Hacksaw
  18. Tape measure
  19. Blanket, cardboard or black plastic to keep modules from going “live” during installation
  20. Heavy duty extension cords
  21. Fuse Pullers


Additional Tools to Consider (especially for multiple installations)

  1. DC clamp-on ammeter
  2. Reciprocating saw / Jig saw
  3. Right angle drill
  4. Conduit bender
  5. Large crimpers
  6. Magnetic wristband for holding bits and parts
  7. C-clamps
  8. Pry bar




Tools for Battery Systems

  1. Hydrometer or Refractometer
  2. Small flashlight (to view electrolyte level)
  3. Rubber apron
  4. Rubber gloves
  5. Safety goggles
  6. Baking Soda (to neutralizer any acid spills)
  7. Turkey Baster
  8. Funnel
  9. Distilled Water
  10. Voltmeter



IST Training Photo clip


Press Release